LAS VEGAS DESERT SUZUKI INSTITUTE
Principal flutist with the Flint Symphony Orchestra, Laura Larson also plays flute and piccolo with the Michigan Opera Theatre orchestra and is a frequent guest artist with Chamber Music at the Scarab Club. Ms. Larson has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, Toledo Symphony and Miami Philharmonic, Miami Opera, Ft. Lauderdale Symphony, Miami Ballet, North Miami Beach Symphony orchestras as well as various chamber ensembles. She has appeared as a soloist with the Flint, Miami and Toledo Symphony orchestras as well as the South Florida and Coconut Grove chamber orchestras and produced a popular lecture/concert series in Miami, “The Evolution of the Flute”, frequently performing in costumes of the period.
Twice a winner in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition (1976 and 1977), Ms. Larson also won 1st place in the wind division of the Financial Federal Musical Showcase Competition in Miami Beach, Florida in 1975 with a performance of Mozart’s Concerto in D Major. Her performance credits include Weill Recital Hall in New York City in 1980 with the Contemporary Baroque Trio (CBT) where they premiered a trio written for them by Elliott Schwartz.
Founding member of the CBT with pianist Valrie Marks Kantorski and bassist Lucas Drew, Ms. Larson has performed throughout Florida and in Europe at the Salzburg Music Festival. Laura Larson formed a flute and harp duo in 1985 with harpist, Kerstin Allvin. Together they performed in Japan and China in 1988 and in Europe and Scandinavia in 1990 as well as prominent concert venues in the United States including Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in 1994 and Weill Recital Hall in 1990 for which Larson/Allvin commissioned a duo, ‘Detours’ from Michigan composer, James Hartway. ‘Detours’ was also performed widely during Larson/Allvin’s many tours to Japan, including the inaugural concert to promote a cultural exchange between the Sister Cities of Detroit and Toyota City where they also performed a work by one of Japan’s most prominent composers, Minoru Miki and Ms. Larson was honored to premier ‘Jinju’ for solo flute written for her by Ichiro Higo. They returned to Japan in 1993 for performances in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and Lillia Hall in Kawaguchi. Larson/Allvin’s performance venues have ranged from a 12th Century cloister church in Sweden and a candle factory in the ancient Japanese town of Furukawa to prestigious concert halls in New York City, Tokyo, Beijing and Chicago.
Ms. Larson was educated at Cass Technical High School and the University of Miami and studied Suzuki Method at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan where she graduated in 1987. Currently a teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, she has served on the faculty at Suzuki Institutes in North America and Japan and teaches privately and at Wayne State University. Her major teachers include Clement Barone, Geoffrey Gilbert, Eugene Johnson and Toshio Takahashi but she also has been influenced by lessons and masterclasses with Julius Baker, Samuel Baron, William Bennett, Barthold Kuijken, Walfrid Kujala, Louis Moyse, Marcel Moyse, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Albert Tipton and Franz Vester.
Ms. Larson’s musical interests have been diverse, ranging from singing in chamber, jazz and concert choirs, jamming with jazz groups (including Ira Sullivan at Bubba’s in Ft. Lauderdale and Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit), teaching Kindermusik to babies and toddlers and studying the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). Ms. Larson also has studied traverso and Baroque performance practice with Michael Lynn and Tom Kuras and has given solo and chamber music performances on period instruments, including performances on traverso and recorder for Michigan Opera Theater’s production of Julius Caesar.
Laura’s musical studies began with piano lessons at the age of 4 and she knew from an early age that music was the only life for her. Destined for an orchestral career, when friends came over to play Laura organized them into an ‘orchestra’ and had them ‘play’ along with her favorite records. Her mother was an opera lover and she grew up with Saturday afternoon operas playing in the house. She credits her parents with instilling in her a love of music and giving her the resources and encouragement to pursue a performing career.
A former board member of the Southeast Michigan Flute Association, Laura was the founder and first president of the South Florida Flute Association. Her other professional affiliations include the National Flute Association, Tuesday Musicale of Detroit, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Chamber Music at the Scarab Club and Grosse Pointe Chamber Music.